Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Game 116: One That Got Away

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Detroit Tigers 7

Must go to my happy place, must go to my happy place...

The irony of Schilling blowing a game and admitting afterwards it's because he's still working on his pitches is that while we were watching the game last night, I defended Schilling's results to my friend Mike, who hates Schilling and thinks he should be shown the door. Clearly I was right for the wrong reasons.

In truth, though, it seems like the atmosphere of the whole night was a bit of whack for the BoSox. Damon, coming off a short break for a slightly strained hamstring, went 0 for 4 with a walk, snapping his league-leading 15 game hitting streak. RBI Guy Petagine grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, killing an opportunity for the Sox to blow the game open. Guns and Corn, his pitches missing their usual bite, danced around disaster all evening, including a bases loaded situation in the fifth when Jason Varitek made a lunging grab to snag a pop-foul about to fall into the Red Sox dugout, providing a crucial second out. And when I say grab, I mean web gem quality - I didn't someone, especially wearing that much equipment, could stretch that far and still hold on to something.

Hopefully the Sox don't let last night's disappointment get into their heads, get back out there tonight and dominate a sub .500 team like the Tigers the way they should. Schilling may sit for a day or two, like he did after his first loss against the Yankees, or his first blown save against Chicago, or he may be back in it tonight, like he was after losing to Tampa Bay to start this most recent success streak.

Speaking of streaks, it's the one year anniversary of the super stretch drive of 2004, which, as the Herald reports, started out with a loss too - to Chicago. Success of that magnitude (20 wins in 22 games) is not required, but the first AL East title of 10 years is calling...and the Yankees, despite our best efforts to beat them off and back into the realms of wildcard oblivion, are crawling back like the restless dead. Time to bring out the shotgun and take out those zombies with a string of wins.

Jon Papelbon is today's mystery starter after all, AAA bullpen assignment or no - the Herald now has him in Pawtucket to save his arm, rather than to become a reliever for the expanded rosters. To free up a roster spot, Mini-Manny's first stay with the big leagues is over, but with only one problem appearance, he'll definately be back in a few weeks. John Olerud is eligible to come off the DL today, but will most likely return tomorrow to go against a righty instead of a lefty. Kevin Youkilis will most likely be making his way back to Rhode Island on Olerud's return. Trot Nixon and Keith Foulke are both making excellent progress towards their respective returns.

Papelbon versus Nate Robertson tonight at 7:05. GO SOX!!!

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